The Fourth of July has always been my favorite holiday for many reasons. Fireworks and food are among the top tier.
Living in a rural area gave us permission to shoot fireworks any way we chose. Get young boys together on the 4th and in a few moments they will be devising a plan to alter the intention of the pre-packaged firework into their own vision of how it is to be ignited. It is never enough to just light fuse and get away. We had more fun than one deserves with a few items found on the farm. When my son and nephews got old enough to get into the act, I was always amazed at their ingenuity and determination in creating something to outdo the other. The presentations they came up with using a rusty pipe, duct tape and a tuna can were unforgettable.
The Fourth of July was the one day out of the year that all eating restrictions were put on hold. It was Dad’s idea that the kids should have all the red pop they could stand, so on the 3rd in the trunk of the car would be a case of Coke and a case of red pop, all in those iconic glass bottles. We would plunge them into ice water in a galvanized washtub, along with a huge watermelon and cover it with an old quilt and wait impatiently. It was like Christmas.
Times change, as do the opportunities. We aren’t spending the fourth on the homestead this year. Dad has since passed on. The kids are all older and busy with their activities. It would be easy to wish for things to be the way they were, but we must allow the seasons of life to bring its new gifts.
Dad had a great saying along those lines. He would tell me, “Son, when a tire goes flat on the car, don’t get out and curse the tire that went down. Just be thankful that the other four stayed up?”
“Other four?” I queried.
“Surely you didn’t forget the spare?”
A Happy Fourth to all.